1/9th Battalion War Diary - October to December, 1916

BUIRE 1st Weather fine.
5 Officers and 8 N.C.O.s proceeded to trenches at YPRES to take over. They had instructions to remain there until the Battalion arrived.
3.15 p.m. - The Battn proceeded to MERICOURT Station and entrained for LONGPRE arriving there at 12 MIDNIGHT. After detraining we marched to COCQUERIL arriving there at 3.15 a.m. 2nd Oct. here they bivouaced until Reveille at 6.30 a.m.
COCQUERIL 2nd 8.30 a.m. - The Battn proceeded to PONT REMY where they entrained for ESQUELBECQ accompanied by the Transport. We arrived at ESQUELBECQ at 9.30 p.m. and proceeded to billets at WORMHOUDT.
WORMHOUDT 3rd The Battn carried out Coy inspections and practised Smoke Helmet Drill, particular attention being paid to men of the new drafts.
4th 12.6 p.m. - The Battalion entrained at WORMHOUDT for POPERINGHE arriving there at 3 p.m. We remained there until 7 p.m. when we again entrained and proceeded to billets in YPRES, relieving the 1st ESSEX Regt. Bttn H.Qrs were in the CONVENT. Weather was very changeable during the day.
[ST. JEAN Sheet 28. 1/10,000]
YPRES 5th Weather fine. The Battalion proceeded to the Trenches and relieved the 2nd HAMPSHIRES in the front line from I 11 b 8.8 to I 5 b 1.3 (ROULERS RAILWAY exclusive on the right to DUKEST on the left). The 5th KING'S being on our right and the 5th SOUTH LANCS on our left. The disposition of our companies being "D" Coy on the right in front line, "B" Coy on the left in front line, "A" Coy in support in X1 & 2 Trench, "C" Coy with 2 Platoons in X3 Trench and 2 Platoons in the POTIJZE defences. The Battn Bombers took over the Bomb Posts on the right of the front line in CRATOR 6 & the GULLY. Battn. HQrs were in the POTIJZE WOOD and the Regtl. Aid Post at CHATEAU (POTIJZE).
Major H.K.S. WOODHOUSE was given the Divisional Commanders approval to wear the badge higher rank (Lt. Col.) until the announcement appeared in the GAZETTE.
YPRES TRENCHES 6th Weather changeable. During the day the enemy was exceptionally quiet.
YPRES TRENCHES (RAILWAY WOOD SECTOR) 7th Weather changeable. Worked carried out on the trenches, i.e:- owing to the area in which the Trenches are situated being so marshy, trenches cannot be dug very deep therefore breastworks are erected, these as a rule need a considerable amount of labour to keep them in repair and all available men are required to repair the wire and build the present breastworks up in places where they are falling. The enemy's artillery has been exceedingly quiet, his M.G.s however are failry active at night. Our M.G.s have now commenced with indirect fire.
8th Weather changeable. The enemy's artillery was a little more active during the morning, not on our lines but the 5th SOUTH LANCS, on our left. Our artillery however soon retaliated and quietened him. We certainly have the ascendancy over him with artillery in this sector. A party of 100 men of the 7th KING'S have been sent up to assist us in repairing a portion of TRENCH on the extreme right of our line between the No.6 CRATOR and the ROULERS RAILWAY. This portion of trench cannot be manned during the day at present.
Lt.Col. WAYMAN of the 3rs WEST RIDING REGT. has been attached to this Battalion from England for instruction in Trench Warfare.
9th The enemy was very quiet throughout the day. At night enemy's M.G.s and snipers were fairly active, but our Lewis Gunners eventually silenced these.br> A party of the 7th KING'S (100 men) were sent up to assist in repairing the front line between CRATOR No.6 & the RAILWAY and also GULLY TRENCH. This work was under the supervision of the R.E.s. A new Coy Hdqtrs dugout was started.
The following officers joined the Battalion as reinforcements, 2/Lt. N. LEES, 2/Lt. H.L. TYRER, 2/Lt. J.E. NICHOLLS, 2/Lt. R.B. McCLELLAN, 2/Lt. J.T. MAURICE, also 93 O.R.s. 2/Lt. NELSON SMITH rejoined from Hospital.
10th Weather fine. The enemy was very quiet throughout the day.
6 p.m. The 7th KING'S relieved the Battalion in the Trenches immediately after dusk, relief was completed by 8 p.m. On relief Coys & Specialists proceeded independently to billets at YPRES. One platoon took over and garrisoned HUSSAR FARM.
YPRES 11th During the period the Battalion was in support Coy and Platoon training was carried out. The Battn also supplied a working party of 100 O.R. each night for work in the front line. The Battn remained in support until the night of the 14th/15th.
13th 2/Lt. R.C. WHITE joined the Battn as reinforcements.
14th 11 p.m. - The Battn. was relieved by the 1/8th IRISH (L'pool Regt.) On relief Coys proceeded independently to the ELVERDINGHE Defences and "L" line relieving the 2/5th LANCS. FUSILIERS, the relief was complete by 2.15 a.m. on the 15th. Disposition of our Coys being B & D Coys, Battn Bombers, snipers & Special party in the ELVERDINGHE Defences. "A" Coy was in "L2" and 2 Platoons in "L4". Battn Hdqtrs and the Regt. Aid Post were at the CHATEAU at ELVERDINGHE.
2/Lt. CRAWFORD and 2/Lt. S.J. HENDRY joined the Battn as reinforcements.
ELVERDINGHE 15th Working parties were supplied as follows, during the whole of the time the Battn garrisoned these defences, R.E.s 50 O.R., 10th ENTRENCHING Battn, 20 O.R. The remainder of the men carried out Platoon & Coy Drill, Box, Respirator Drill etc.
6 p.m. & 7 45 p.m. - The enemy shelled Battn Hdqtrs (the CHATEAU) at the times stated using 5.9 shells.
Casualties, 1 O.R.
16th 2/Lt. D.C.H. FRASER joined the Battn as reinforcements, also 12 O.R.s.
6 p.m. - The enemy shelled Battn Hdqtrs (the CHATEAU) at the time stated using 5.9 shells
17th During the afternoon the enemy shelled "L2" Strong Point and at 6 p.m. he shelled the CHATEAU. The following officers joined the Battn as reinforcements, 2/Lts. W.A. TYE, W.L. GELDERD, E. TOWLE, C. BASSINGHAM, J.A. MITCHELL, C.F. ROBINSON, H.G. GOWAN, C.B. JOHNSON, C.B. CHILDS, B.S. DAVIES. Casualties, 1 O.R.
18th 11.45 a.m. - The Corp Commander inspected that portion of the Battn billeted at ELVERDINGHE.
Lt. RAINE went on leave. Day very quiet but much rain during evening.
19th 3.15 p.m. - Major LEDERER returned from leave. C.S.M. DAVIS, 2nd S.W.B. joined the Battn for duty. Drill was impossible owing to the heavy rain - lectures replacing same. Enemy very quiet during day - probably owing to the weather. Wind dangerous today.
20th 10.15 p.m. - Wind still dangerous and not yet cancelled. Weather conditions unfavourable. Enemy very quiet - Coys at ELVERDINGHE employed on working parties and Arms Drill.
21st Wind still dangerous. Weather - fine, cold, wind light. Enemy very quiet but their aeroplanes overhead, vigorously shelled. Training and working parties under R.E. continued.
ELVERDINGHE and YPRES 22nd Wind and weather as on 21st. Some artillery duelling in immediate neighbourhood of CHATEAU. Schemes of defence for ELVERDINGHE and posts L2, L8 & L4 submitted to Brigade. Commencing at 4 p.m. the battalion moved to billets in Ypres, the relief being complete at 9.15 p.m. The battalion was relieved by the 10th (SCOTTISH) KING's (L'POOL REGT.) and relieved the 8th (IRISH) K.L.R., YPRES.
YPRES and YPRES TRENCHES 23rd Wind still dangerous, light S.E. Enemy very quiet. Weather dull, rain at night. Commencing at 5 p.m. the battalion moved into trenches, occupying the left sub-sector of the right brigade, i.e. same trenches as recorded in diary 5th inst. We relieved 2/5 LANCS FUSILIERS. On our right - 1/5 KINGS (L'pools) on our left - 1/5 KINGS OWN (Royal Lancaster). The dispositions of our Coys being: Front line, right, A. Coy, Front line, left, C. Coy. In support: D. Coy in X1 & X2 and 2 platoons of B. Coy in X3. POTIJZE defences: B. Coy less two platoons. Battn. Bombers, Battn Headquarters, and Regt. Aid post, as on 5th inst. Relief completed, 10.50 p.m.
YPRES TRENCHES (RAILWAY WOOD SECTOR) 24th Very wet all day. Wind dangerous, very light S.E. Enemy very quiet.
Lt.Col. H.K.S. WOODHOUSE proceeded on leave, & Major P.G.A. LEDERER, M.C. assumed temporary command of battalion, & Lt.Col. H.H. WAYMAN (West Riding Regt) attached for instruction taking over duties of Second in Command.
25th Wind still dangerous, light S.E. Weather dull, and light rain much of day. Enemy shelled DUKE STREET & E. end of HAYMARKET & vicinity, and about 100-150 yards N. of H.Q. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Estimated number of shells - 150. Damage nil. 2/Lt. G.H.C. TRUSCOTT (4th Borders) joined for duty.
26th Wind dangerous cancelled - wind W.N.W. Weather dull, some rain. Enemy shelled right front Coy. One killed, 2 wounded, all O.R. Defence scheme for L. battn. R. brigade, RAILWAY WOOD SECTOR, issued by Major LEDERER, M.C. to Coy Comdrs.
YPRES 27th Battn relieved by 7th KING'S at 10.15 p.m. Battn proceeded to billets in YPRES - weather showery. 2/Lt. G.H.C. TRUSTCOTT joined the Battn. as reinforcements.
28th Wind dangerous 10 a.m. - church parade for available men - The whole Battn bathed. Weather showery. Platoon at HUSSAR FARM relieved at 4 p.m. by platoon of 7th KINGS.
2/Lt. W.H. GREEN joined the Battn from 5th KINGS
2/Lieuts. G.H.C. TRUSTCOTT, G.A. CRAWFORD, B.S. DAVIES, D.C.H. FRASER, C.B. CHILDS, C. BASSINGHAM proceeded to join the 17th KINGS and were struck off the strength of this Unit.
29th Wind dangerous. Working parties of 120 O.R. were supplied each night while the Battn was in YPRES.
2/Lts. J.K. EBBELS, S.H. RANDALL, R.H. BORWICK joined the Battn as reinforcements.
30th Wind dangerous. Weather showery.
31st The Battn proceeded to the Trenches and relieved the 7th KINGS in the front line. The dispositions of our Coys being B. Coy on the right in front line, "D" Coy on left in front line, C. Coy in support in X1 & 2 & A Coy, 2 Platoons in X3 & 2 Platoons in POTIJZE DEFENCE, Battn Bombers & Battn Hdqtrs at Mound near POTIJZE CHATEAU, I4A4.4.
(Intld) W.R.
Major Commanding 9th Kings.
NOVEMBER Weather fine. Work carried on repairing trenches, drainage etc.
YPRES (TRENCHES) 2nd Weather showery. The enemy shelled Battn Hdqtrs with 22 4.2" shells, very little damage being done and no casualties sustained.
2/Lts. W.A. TYE, C.F. ROBINSON, E. TOWLE & J.A. MITCHELL were reposted and proceeded to join the 12th KINGS.
3rd Weather showery.
Our artillery was fairly active throughout the day. The enemy shelled the front line and CTs with 77 MM shells, but no damage was done.
4th Weather showery.
11.20 p.m. - The Battn was relieved by the 7th KINGS. On completion of relief the Battn proceeded to billets in YPRES with the exception of 200 O.R. who proceeded to their respective rendezvous for working parties. The enemy was very quiet throughout the relief.
YPRES 5th Weather showery.
Lt.Col. H.K.S. WOODHOUSE returned from leave and assumed command of the Battalion, Major LEDERER P.G.A. taking over second in command.
A working party of 100 O.R. was supplied for cable burying under R.E.s
6th Weather showery.
Platoon & Coy Drill was carried out. Working parties numbering 327 O.R. were supplied by this Unit for working on CAMBRIDGE Trench, Cable Burying & carrying parties. Enemy shelled the CLOTH HALL during the morning.
7th Weather showery.
Platoon & Coy Drill & Box Respirator drill carried out. The Battn was relieved in YPRES by the 1/8th IRISH and then proceeded by train to BRANDHOEK & thence to "B" Camp (G6D.4.2) arriving there at 10.30 p.m.
"B" CAMP G6.d.4.2 8th Weather fine. Coy training carried out.
9th Weather fine. Coy training carried out. Arms drill, close order and extended order drill.
10th Weather fine. Coy training carried out and the Battn was inspected by the Commanding Officer.
11th Weather fine. Coy training carried out and the Battn was bathed and received clean underclothing.
12th Weather fine. Coy training carried out in the morning and Church parade in the afternoon.
13th Weather showery. The Battn supplied a working party of 300 O.R. for Cable Burying.
14th Weather fine.
15th Weather fine. Coy training carried out and the Battn had Box Respirators fitted by Divisional Gas Officer and was put through Gas.
16th Weather fine. Coy. training carried out.
17th Weather showery. Coy. training carried out. While the Brigade was in Divisional reserve Classes were carried out as under:-
Junior Officers under Bde. Major; Senior N.C.O.s under Staff Capt. Lecture to Officers by Brigadier General & Col. Fairclough, Bombing and Lewis Gun Classes under Brigade and Battalion arrangements.
All Battalion Bombers had practice in live Bombthrowing & also 6 Bombers per Coy.
18th Weather wet. During the morning Coys. practiced Wiring.
5 p.m. - The Battn. entrained at BRANDHOEK for YPRES arriving there at 6 p.m. and proceeding to relieve the 7th KINGS in Billets in YPRES. The relief was completed by 8 p.m. The Lewis Gunners proceeded by road from "B" Camp to YPRES.
57 O.R. joined the Battalion as reinforcements.
YPRES 19th Weather fine. The Battn supplied working parties of 357 O.R. each day while in YPRES.
Box respirator Drill was carried out and also Arms Drill.
6 O.R. joined the Battalion as reinforcements.
20th Weather fine. Arms Drill and musketry carried out, also working parties supplied as for 19th.
21st Weather fine. Platoon Drill etc. carried out, also working parties supplied.
22nd Weather dull. Platoon Drill & Box Respirator Drill carried out. Working parties supplied.
23rd The battn relieved the 7th KINGS in the trenches, relief carried out successfully by 9 p.m.
24th Weather dull.
25th Weather wet.
26th Weather fine. Heavy bombardment by enemy trench mortars for 1 hour. No casualties.
27th Weather fine. Some hostile shelling.
28th Should have been relieved by 7th KINGS but relief was postponed on a/c of a raid to be carried out by 6th KINGS on our right. Raid cancelled.
29th Relief again cancelled. Raid took place & was very successful.
30th Relieved by 7th KINGS and Battn supplied 108 O.R. for working parties. Returned to billets in YPRES.
(Intd.) R.D.
YPRES 1st Weather fine. Battn came into billets during the night and devoted the day to cleaning up and inspections.
2nd Weather fine. Batt. Supplied 250 O.R. for working parties remainder under Coy. Officers for training.
3rd Weather fine. 250 O.R. for working parties. Church parade for remainder in the morning. Bathing in the afternoon at Brigade baths. There was a voluntary Church Parade at 6.30 p.m. in the evening, also Holy Communion was administered at 11.45 a.m.
4th Battn. Paraded on CONVENT SQUARE for the Commanding Officer to present cards signed by the Div. Commander to officers and men recommended for gallantry on the Somme. Battn. also supplied working parties.
5th Weather wet. Battn. relieved 7th THE KINGS during the afternoon and night in the L sub-sector of the Brigade front. The relief was carried out successfully.
6th Weather fine. Some enemy trench mortar activity on our right front Coy trenches, 2 casualties (buried in dugout, wounded, not seriously).
7th Weather fine. One O.R. killed by sniper. Lt.Col. WOODHOUSE left for one months leave. Maj. LEDERER assumes command. Capt. S.T.J. PERRY rejoins Battn. as a reinforcement after having been struck off the strength and is again taken on the strength.
8th Weather fine. The Battn. was relieved in the L.Sub sector by 2/5 LANCS FUSILIERS, entrained at YPRES for BRANDHOEK and billeted in B Camp. Relief was carried out successfully.
9th Weather fine. The day was spent in inspections by Coy Commanders and bathing the men.
10th Weather fine. Church parade in the morning, route march in the afternoon.
11th Weather fine. The Battn. was inspected by Coy. by the Commanding Officer. Coys. when not being inspected carried out musketry on the 30 yards range.
12th Weather very wet in the early morning, afterwards a cover of snow. The day was spent in lectures by Coy. officers.
"B" CAMP 13th Weather fine. Battn. training carried out.
14th Weather showery. Coy. & Battn. Training carried out, particular attention being paid to Musketry.
15th Weather fine. Coy. Training carried out during the morning. "Test" alarm carried out in the afternoon. The Battn marched past the Major Gen. at EDWAARDEHOEK.
16th Weather fine. Working party of 100 men supplied for Cable burying. An experiment was also carried out, constructing trenches by explosion.
17th Weather fine. The Battn. entrained at BRANDHOEK at 4 p.m. and proceeded to billets at YPRES arriving there at 6.30 p.m. and relieved 2/5 LANCS FUS.
18th Weather fine. Coy training carried out in the morning.
The Battn proceeded to the Trenches and relieved the 1/8 IRISH (L'pool Regt) in the front our right being the ROULERS YPRES Railway and the left being the CT HAYMARKET. The 5th KINGS were on our right and the ¼ L N L on our left. The disposition of our Coys being A Coy on the right in front line, C Coy on the left in front line, D Coy right support and B Coy 2 platoons left support & 2 platoons in POTIJZE DEFENCE.
19th Weather fine. Enemy very quiet.
20th Weather fine at first, then some snow. Lieut. & Adjt. W. RAINE having been attached to Brigade for instruction as from today, 2/Lieut. F.J. MAURICE took over duties of Acting Adjt. The enemy showed some Artillery and trench Mortar activity, mainly about 11 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. about 38 4.2s and 38 77MM shells being dropped in neighbourhood of our front line, PICCADILLY, GULLY & CAMBRIDGE trenches, and on ROULERS Rly., HELLFIRE CORNER etc. About 23 T.M. bombs were also dropped. Very little damage was done to our lines.
21st Weather wet, high wind at night. CAMBRIDGE trench and PICCADILLY were heavily shelled this morning & afternoon, the trenches being blown in in several places.
Casualties: 1 killed, 5 wounded.
22nd Weather changeable, some wet. WIND SAFE. Artillery on both sides again very active, our left front & front end of HAYMARKET C.T. being especially heavily shelled, C Coy H.Q. & Cooker being hit. No casualties. The battalion was relieved in the trenches by the 7th KING'S (L'pool Regt.) relief being complete at 8.45 p.m. the battalion taking over billets in YPRES from the 7th KINGS.
23rd In the absence of Lt.Colonel H.K.S. WOODHOUSE on leave, Major J.E. LEWIS, 18th ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS assumed duties of 2nd in Command asfrom 14th inst. vice Major P.G.A. LEDERER M.C. Commanding.
Training: Arms Drill, Box Respirator Drill. Cleaning up. Working parties. Weather dry, gale blowing. Considerable portions of Convent wall fell, bursting through and filling one cellar.
24th Weather fine. Training: 1½ hours Musketry, ½ hour Box Respirator Drill. Wiring section trained 1½ hours under Capt. ELTON. Working parties. Divine Services.
25th Weather wet. Various working parties. Christmas Greetings were received from the Army, Corps, Divisional & Brigade Commanders.
26th Weather fine. The men had their Xmas dinner in a church in YPRES. Christmas Greetings were received from His Majesty the King, Lord Derby, His Majesty King of the Belgians.
27th Weather fine. High wind & Dangerous.
Training:- ½ hour Physical training, 1 hour Musketry, 1 hour Box Respirator drill. Battn bathed at Divl baths. The Battn relieved the 7th KINGS (L'pool Regt.) in the left sector of the brigade. "B" Coy Right front, "D" Coy left front, "C" Coy right support, "A" Coy left Support & POTIJZE DEFENCES. The relief was carried out successfully.
28th Weather changeable. Our line was heavily shelled between 1 & 2 P.m. but very little damage was done. Casualties, Nil.
29th Weather very wet. WIND:- SAFE. Fairly strong. HAYMARKET & PICCADILLY communication trenches were flooded in places as deep as 18"inches. Casualties nil.
30th During the temporary absence of Major P.G.A. LEDERER on Course, Major J.E. LEWIS of 18th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers assumed command of this Bn. Weather fine. Slight wind. Some enemy T.M. & artillery activity on our support trenches & in direction of YPRES.
Casualties nil.
31st Weather fine but dull. Enemy artillery active on our front line & YPRES. Machine guns of enemy more active than usual.
Casualties, 2 Other Ranks wounded.
(Intd.) A. M. C.
Major R.W.F.
Comd'g 1/9th King's L'pool Regt. T.F.